Help me finish my new book — #whathappensnext

LoveWhile we are all on lock-down, I’m writing a book and don’t know how it ends.

Jessica starts her new job, a dream job writing for her hometown newspaper, the day the governor enacts stay-at-home orders. So she’ll meet her colleagues on Zoom and conduct her interviews via phone and email.

Dan doesn’t even want to give her a chance. She’s not Sophia, the previous reporter who left for a job and love in Oklahoma. She was never into Dan but he was so infatuated, he misses her anyway.

Their meet cute is anything but. He resents her and she thinks he’s an obnoxious, arrogant know-it-all. Then their editor asks Dan to be her mentor for a few weeks, as she gets to acclimated.

All this takes place in the midst of a pandemic. Unreadable faces on Zoom and missed cues on phone calls mean their partnership gets off to a rocky start.

Of course, they’re going to find a way to fall in love. A nice gesture here, a compliment there and a chance meeting while Dan walks his dog Rex. It has to happen.

While they move from enemy to lovers (virtual, anyway), I want to include little tidbits of what life was like for all of us during the pandemic.

  • Online meetings and happy hours
  • Children out of school and studying at the dining room table
  • Stress, sleepless nights, little disagreements blowing up into arguments
  • Multiple dog walks
  • Fear of getting the virus
  • House cleaning and baking and gardening that wouldn’t get done otherwise.

That’s where you come in. What happens next? What has happened in your life that belongs in my characters’ lives?

Beginning May 11, I will post one of the ten chapters I’ve already written of my new story every Monday. So far, my story only has a working title, Falling in Love while WFH.

Read along and meet Jess, Dan, and the rest of the crew. There’s a dog, maybe a cat (I haven’t decided), and a little girl. Then once you’re acquainted, let me know what you think should happen next. Most importantly, what will ultimately bring Jess and Dan together?

I’ll begin incorporating your ideas into the tale as the story progresses— even if it means I have to rewrite one of the finished chapters to accommodate one of your outstanding suggestions.

This is not new idea. When Andy Weir wrote The Martian he published it online and incorporated the many ideas he received before the book was finished.

If you have a suggestion, send it along with your name and hometown to whathappensnext.19@gmail.com. (Copy and paste the address, please.)

Fine print-Be sure before you reply that you are okay if I pick your idea, which could be modified to fit my story, as a springboard for the next chapters. I retain all rights to all suggestions though I will include your name in my acknowledgements when the story is done. I’ll keep your email address so I can announce when I publish the final book. If your ideas are used, I’ll make sure you get an electronic copy of my book.

If you like what you read, please tell your friends and your friends’ friends. Together we can write a great story to remember the lockdown of 2020.

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